I used to run a vlog/comedy channel on YouTube, GoodEeveening. I say used to because I shut it down recently. The whole thing, three years of content, gone with a single click of a button. I didn’t even say goodbye to any of my 248,000 followers.
I didn’t feel safe anymore. I still don’t.
I guess it was my fault. I asked for it, in a way.
I’d been struggling to come up with new video ideas recently. Between college classes and trying to work things out with my boyfriend, Erik, I was stressed and coming up blank when I sat down to write skits. Nothing seemed to be working. I never meant to steal anyone’s idea, but I was so frustrated that I turned to some of the most popular channels to try and spark some inspiration. It only took a few videos before I started to get an idea: reacting to compilation videos of myself that others had done.
It was so simple! It barely required any effort from me at all, just some commentary and me editing some footage together. I knew there were a few out there already. Just short clips of people looping silly things I’d said or stitching together cute moments between me and Erik that I’d posted.
And then, when I noticed what day was coming up in a couple of weeks, I got an even better idea.
Friday the 13th Challenge!! I’d posted to my social media. Create the spookiest compilations you can using my content and I’ll react to them and link them from my page on Friday the 13th! Entries must be in by the 12th!
I said I wouldn’t watch any beforehand so that my reactions would be genuine, but that wasn’t true. I was only going to pick the best ones for my own video.
The responses I got were immediately positive. My followers were into it! I’m always amazed by how fast people can work. Just hours later, I already had half a dozen video links sitting in my inbox. A couple came from accounts I recognized as being longtime fans, but the rest were all new to me. Looking at the screen names, it seemed that one person had even gone so far as to create an entirely new account called EyesOnEevee. Appropriately creepy, given the theme.
I opened that one first.
The video started with a black screen and a soft, creepy tune playing. The words “One girl. Home alone. Or so she thought.” appeared in red letters and then faded. It ran through a series of clips of me talking into the camera and then jumping and looking over my shoulder. A few featured a guy lurking in my doorway behind me with a wide, unflattering grin. The creator had a really great eye for editing and music cues and had turned my silly videos into something bordering on sinister.
It made me laugh to watch; I remembered most of the videos well enough. Erik liked to try and spook me when I was recording and often intentionally made loud noises or snuck up on me with that stupid expression on his face.
I thought it was a great start to what I was looking for.
Over the next few days, more entries trickled in, more than I had expected, honestly, but in each batch, there was always one name that stuck out to me the most: EyesOnEevee.
The second video they sent me was titled “Descent Into Madness”. It opened to me staring into the camera for an uncomfortably long time, paused footage from one of my vlogs, while ghostly children’s voices sang a nursery rhyme. Then it cut sharply to an image of me with over the top, crazy looking makeup I’d done for a Halloween video, and then back to me staring. It cut again to another clip, this one of me scowling with my hands around Erik’s neck while he flailed to escape. It was from a relationship Q&A we’d done together and I’d been pretending to be mad at him over something. The video ended on a close up of my face, smiling, and the nursery rhyme trailing off into an echoey quiet.
I was amazed at the quality (and that I could remember so much of my own content) and, as much as I didn’t want to feature the same person twice, it was too good to pass up.
I left the third video they’d sent for another day and checked out other entries. The creativity and skill of my followers was pretty impressive and, with still a week to go, I already had enough to fill up my usual 15 minute time slot. I decided I was either going to make this special reaction video extra long or I’d split it up over a couple of weeks, playing only the creepiest ones on the 13th itself.
The next time I checked my submissions, I had two new ones from EyesOnEevee. I was enjoying their stuff so much, I watched them first.
This time, they’d pulled stuff from my Snapchat. Filtered images and short clips were put to chilling music and edited to make them seem unsettling. Unlike the previous videos, this one didn’t seem to have a theme. It just zoomed in really close to my face in a lot of the scenes.
Not EyesOnEevee’s best work, I remember thinking.
The final picture used was one of me in my bathing suit at the beach with my sister. Both of our eyes had been digitally scratched out.
I paused it there and studied the photo. My hair raised across the back of my neck with a sweeping, prickly sensation.
That photo hadn’t been posted to my public Snapchat. It was one I’d only shared with friends on my personal one. At least, that was what I’d thought. I racked my brain, trying to remember if I’d ever put it up anywhere, but I didn’t remember doing so. It didn’t make much sense that I would have: I’ve always been careful to keep my extremely private sister off my channel and I’d never posted any bikini pictures for my followers to see.
On the off chance Anna had put it up herself, I sent her a text asking about it.
Nope, was the answer I got.
It was the first time I’d ever really felt uneasy about being online before. I closed the video and deleted it, along with the other, unwatched one from EyesOnEevee. It was possible I’d slipped up and sent that picture through my public Snapchat, but I figured I’d have gotten some kind of response from my followers that would have let me know about it.
Mistake or not, I was uncomfortable to say the least, and was starting to rethink including EyesOnEevee’s videos for my compilation.
The next morning, I had another submission from them.
It had the same title as the one I’d deleted the night before, “Behind The Mask”. I was still a bit freaked out, but my curiosity got the best of me anyway and I opened it.
More creepy music, more jarring edits and cuts. All of the content that they’d used, though, was from my personal social media accounts. There were pictures and videos of family and friends, things I know I never shared publicly in any way.
I was left with only two options: someone had hacked my accounts and stolen my private uploads or EyesOnEevee was someone I knew.
I must have been pacing around my apartment for an hour making calls and sending texts, trying to figure out who, if anyone, was messing with me. Everyone I contacted denied it. Given how obvious I was about upset it was making me, I didn’t think any of them were lying.
“Why don’t you come spend the night at my place? The roommates are gone, it’ll just be us,” Erik offered when I called him. He sounded as worried as I was.
I accepted without a second thought.
Being around my boyfriend helped me feel somewhat safe again and we went through all my accounts so I could change my login information on each. I also posted warnings that I may have been hacked so that others could be on guard, too.
“Do you think we should go to the police?” Erik asked.
“No. Whenever I hear about this kinda stuff happening, the police never do anything about it. I just have to be more careful.”
“Alright, but if it keeps happening, we’re going.”
I promised him we would.
That was last night, the same night as my compilation request deadline. I was supposed to be working on my reaction video now. I probably still would have gone through with it, but when I woke up this morning, almost all of the submissions had been deleted.
Only the ones from EyesOnEevee were still in my inbox.
There was a new one.
I didn’t want to watch, but Erik did, and when he opened it, I couldn’t help but look over his shoulder.
Jump cuts, fades to black and white, shaky camera work from a distance, creepy music. And there I was in all of it: me, filmed through my windows as I walked through my apartment. Me, an extreme and blurry close up of my face filmed from outside my window as I packed in my bedroom. Me, filmed from behind a tree, running out of my house to Erik’s car. Me, filmed from the driver’s seat of a car as I got out at Erik’s and he took my hand to lead me inside.
As the images faded from the screen, heavy breathing flooded the speakers.
“I’ll always be watching,” a distorted voice whispered. “I’m your number one fan.”
It closed with bright red letters.
Happy Friday the 13th, Eevee
We got back from the police station just a bit ago. They told me that, since there hadn’t been any threats and EyesOnEevee hadn’t attempted to reach out directly, they couldn’t do anything. They figured I’d given enough clues in my videos that led this creep right to me.
“Be more careful online,” I was told.
I’m taking that advice. Like I said, I already deleted my channel. I also took down all of my social media accounts, everything I could think of that was associated with GoodEeveening and my real name. I’m staying at Erik’s until I figure out if I can break my lease and move.
This is going to be the last time I post anything related to my channel or this experience. I just want to make people aware before I disappear for a while. This shit happens, it’s happening to me right now, and I always thought of myself as being pretty safe and savvy.
Now I know better.
Now I know how wrong I was.